TWO Hunter MPs have been promoted to Labor’s front bench, another has been demoted and three more have been made shadow parliamentary secretaries, under changes to Luke Foley’s shadow cabinet.
Cessnock MP Clayton Barr and Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison have been elevated to shadow cabinet, although Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery has been dropped.
The shake up will be officially announced on Thursday, following a meeting of the ALP caucus on Wednesday at which Mr Foley and Linda Burney retained their positions as leader and deputy.
Mr Barr, who is factionally unaligned, will be finance, services and property spokesman while Ms Harrison will add responsibility for the Hunter, women, prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, and early childhood education to her already hefty workload as both MP and Lake Macquarie mayor.
Ms Harrison will square off against minister Pru Goward, and Mr Barr will take on minister Dominic Perrottet during question time, when parliament resumes next month.
Reelected Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, and new MPs Swansea’s Yasmin Catley and Port Stephens’ Kate Washington, will each be given shadow parliamentary secretary responsibilities.
And in a surprise move, former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay, who won the seat of Strathfield this election, has been appointed shadow minister for Police and justice, as well as for roads, maritime and freight.
Ms McKay had been named only in January as Labor’s planning spokeswoman.
But that position will go instead to Penny Sharpe, pending her appointment to fill a casual vacancy in the Legislative Council after she lost to the Greens in her bid for the lower house seat of Newtown.
Transport shadow minister is Ryan Park. Wyong MP David Harris will be shadow for regional development, skills and small business.
Meeting with 20 new MPs at State Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Foley said they would be responsible for holding the government to account ‘‘for the very large and extravagant promises’’ it made during the election campaign to their electorates.
The state’s next Labor government would be built on their election wins, he said.
‘‘Thanks to the people of NSW we have unambiguously put the past behind us ... for the Labor Party now it’s all about the future,’’ Mr Foley said.